Thursday, July 21, 2011

Don't Be So Blind

This story is almost too embarrassing to tell. But, I will tell it anyway. When my husband and I moved in to our house over 8 years ago, I found a stash of extra vertical blinds in a closet. Over the years, some of the blinds in the windows have broken or gone missing. I would remember that we possibly had some extra ones in the closet, but it seemed like such a monumental task. How would I get the little notches cut in the top of blinds? How would I cut them to length? It was just way too complicated. So I ignored them.

Well today, I finally actually opened the package of extra blinds. Turns out they already had the notch cut in them, and that you can cut vinyl blinds with your trusty scissors (thank you, Internet). So, it took me 15 minutes to fix/replace the four blinds that were missing. And I now have an empty shelf in the closet.

While I am embarrassed that it took me 8 years to be sensible and actually open the package, mostly I am glad to have them finished!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Contemplate Calmness

Although I usually didn't use Twitter or Facebook very much on the weekend anyway, I was still wondering if I would suffer from withdrawal symptoms after deleting both accounts.

The only side effects seem to be calmness and random thoughts that have no place to go. Occasionally I will remember that I forgot to grab a email address from my Facebook account or realize I won't be able to see updated pictures, but then I remind myself that I am working on strengthening relationships in real life, and that there are other ways to get this information, if I really need it.

When I am on the computer (to study for my HAM radio exam, pay bills, etc.) my time is much shorter and I don't feel so drained afterwards. And that pull that I used to feel in the back of my mind, wondering if someone needed me for something (in the form of a Twitter/Facebook message) is gone.

If I am truly needed, I can be easily alerted.

The false sense of urgency and importance has receded and that makes me much calmer. My desire to write blog posts has returned, and for that I am grateful.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Toss Out Twitter

Yesterday, after almost four years of daily use, I deleted my Twitter and Facebook accounts.
I deleted them for two main reasons:

The Shift Away From Unique Content


I was dragged kicking and screaming on to Twitter but thoroughly enjoyed it for many years. I was able to make connections with people I would not have otherwise met, I learned new and exciting things, and I laughed a lot. When Twitter added the Lists feature (essentially a popularity system) I knew things were heading in a direction I wouldn't enjoy. When Twitter switched to New Twitter, I immediately switched back. It was becoming too commercialized, too ad focused. Content was also shifting away from original content. People were linking their numerous other social media profiles and their various smart phone applications to their Twitter/Facebook accounts. My Twitter and Facebook streams were becoming fields of automatic messages. And to me these messages screamed, Look at me! Look at me! Validate that I am important!!! The escalating noise eventually drowned out any actual signal.

The Way I Was Using It

Although I cut my use of social media a lot in the past year, I still spent at least 4 hours a day on it. I didn't like how I was spending my time: looking at other people's children instead of doing the work it would take to have some of my own, sending out quick updates to online friends but never finding the time to actually call a friend. Recently, and much to my disgust, when my husband was frustrated with me, I actually thought, "It's OK that he's upset, because I have friends on Twitter that think I'm funny."

What began four years ago as a neat way to connect with people had turned into a hollow excuse for not having to be alone, a way to keep me occupied so I wouldn't have to think about whether I was living the life I wanted. And this constant barrage of information made me tired, so tired that when I did have the opportunity to see people I was already half drained.

Deleting the Facebook account was easy. It took me longer to decide to delete my Twitter account. I was actually shaking when I did it, like I was cutting away a safety net.

So today marks the first day of my silence on social media. The first day of re-establishing and nurturing relationships in "real" life. I considered deleting this blog also, but have decided it will stay. I enjoy sharing things with people, I just needed to eliminate the garbage, slow the merry go round down and spend more time with myself.

FYI: Sherry Turkle wrote a fabulous book about many of the issues I just talked about: Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology And Less From Each Other. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Enjoy The Silence

Please do not panic, nothing bad has happened to my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I have deleted them because they were no longer useful to me.

More on this in the future ...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cut P90X Down To Size

I've said this once, I've said it about a bizillion times, P90X is too hard.

But you saw the infomercial and want to get in shape so badly, so you purchased the program and it has arrived at your home. Well, you have three choices, you can 1) Open it, realized it's really hard and never look at it again 2) Jump in to the program full throttle, then either hurt or exhaust yourself after 30 days and abandon it. OR you can do the smart thing and 3) Cut it down to size.
(My suggestions are in bold.)

P90X Classic

Weeks 1-3, 9-11
Day 1: Chest & Back (~60 min), Ab Ripper X (~10 minutes)
Cut down: do 30 minutes: stop at the final exercise of the first round, Back Flys. Weeks 1-3, skip Ab Ripper, weeks 9-11, do it.

Day 2: Plyometrics (~60 minutes) Cut down: Weeks 1-3: do 30 of DVD, Weeks 9-11: do full DVD.

Day 3: Shoulders & Arms (~60 min), Ab Ripper X (~10 min) Cut down: do 30 minutes of Shoulders & Arms, stop after Upright rows. Weeks 1-3, skip Ab Ripper, Weeks 9-11, do it.

Day 4: Yoga X (~92 minutes) Cut down: Weeks 1-3, do it for 30 minutes, weeks 9-11, do it for 60.

Day 5: Legs & Back (~60 minutes), Ab Ripper X (~10 minutes) Cut down: do 30 minutes of Legs & Back, stop after Switch Grip Pull-Ups. Weeks 1-3, skip Ab Ripper, weeks 9-11, do it.

Day 6: Kenpo X (~55 minutes) Cut down: Weeks 1-3: do for 30 minutes, weeks 9-11, do full DVD.

Day 7: Rest or X Stretch Cut down: Same


Weeks 4,8,13
Day 1: Yoga X (~92 minutes) Cut down: do for 30 minutes

Day 2: Core Synergistics (~58 minutes) Cut down: do for 30 minutes, stop after Prison Cell Push-Ups

Day 3: Kenpo X (~55 minutes) Cut down: Do full DVD or other cardio for 60 minutes

Day 4: X Stretch Cut down: Same

Day 5: Core Synergistics (~58 minutes) Cut down: do for 30 minutes, stop after Prison Cell Push-Ups

Day 6: Yoga X (~92 minutes) Cut down: Do for 30 minutes

Day 7: Rest or Stretch Cut down: Same

Weeks 5-7, 10-12
Day 1: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps (~60 minutes), Ab Ripper X (~10 minutes) Cut down: do for 30 minutes, stop after Lying Triceps Extensions. Do Ab Ripper X.

Day 2: Plyometrics (~60 minutes) Cut down: Do full DVD or other cardio for 60 minutes

Day 3: Back & Biceps (~60 minutes), Ab Ripper X (10 minutes) Cut down: do 30 minutes of DVD, stop after Static Arm Curls, do Ab Ripper X

Day 4: Yoga X (~90 minutes) Cut down: Do it for 60 minutes

Day 5: Legs & Back (~60 minutes), Ab Ripper X (10 minutes) Cut it down: do Legs and Back for 30 minutes, stop after Switch Grip Pull Ups, do Ab Ripper.

Day 6: Kenpo X (~60 minutes) Cut down: do DVD or other cardio for 60 minutes

Day 7: Rest or X Stretch Cut down: same

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It's not too late to dust off your P90X program and get in better shape. Just be smart about it!